Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
Contact: Kristen Muszynski
office: 626-8404/cell: 441-7638

Commemorative U.S. Navy Reserve Centennial plate now available

AUGUSTA ? A new commemorative license plate celebrating the U.S. Navy Reserve Centennial is now available for purchase.
The plate was officially unveiled in a brief ceremony Thursday morning at the Scarborough Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.

?Aside from commemorating the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Navy Reserves, this plate is going to be an important instrument in the furtherance of supporting the Maine Military Family Relief Fund,? said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.

This fund provides for emergency loans and grants to members of the Maine National Guard, Reserves or Armed Forces, and their families, as well as to statewide nonprofit organizations that aid service members. Ten dollars of every $15 plate purchase will go to the fund.

Since July 1st of this year, 18,743 service members or their families have been recipients of aid through this fund, Secretary Dunlap noted, receiving help with expenses ranging from funerals to housing.

?We have a moral obligation, I believe, to support those folks when they?re in need,? he said.

Secretary Dunlap was joined at the unveiling ceremony by Sen. Bill Diamond (D-Windham), Sen. Ronald Collins (R-Wells), Rep. Andrew McLean (D-Gorham) and Rep. Mark Bryant (D-Windham). Representing the U.S. armed forces were Lieutenant Commander Matthew Billings of the Navy Operational Support Center in Bangor, Master Sergeant Barbara Claudel, Navy Reserve sailor Lt. Michael Cianchette and Col. Eric Lind of the Maine Air National Guard.

Image of Secretary of State Dunlap, representatives  of  U.S. Armed forces and  the State Legislature

Image of Secretary of State Dunlap and representatives of the  State Legislature

Sen. Collins, who is Senate chairman of the Transportation Committee, was the sponsor of the legislation to create the plate.
?Our state?s heritage is steeped in maritime history,? he said. ?On the roads of Maine, (this plate) will serve as constant reminder of the sacrifices made by members of the Navy Reserves.?

A commemorative license plate is different than the specialty license plates issued to support various causes. It does not have any numbers/letters on its face and cannot replace the legally issued plates. The commemorative plate must be placed over the front registration plate of the vehicle until it expires in March 2016. The existing registration plate on the back of the vehicle must remain visible.

The U.S. Navy Reserve Centennial plates are now available for purchase at any Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.

Previous commemorative plates issued in Maine include the recent Congres Mondial Acadien plate, issued in 2013; the USA Patriot commemorative plate, issued during Operation Desert Storm; and the national bicentennial plate, issued in 1976.